Student athletic trainers at Wartburg College are important members of the staff in the training room.
Mallory McDonald and Joe Fangman, both, fourth year students have been apart of Wartburg’s training room.
Head Athletic Trainer, Ryan Callahan said without student help, they couldn’t deliver the level of service and help for the 700-plus student athletes.
“This is a situation that requires them to be highly-adaptable, to work hard and to be service oriented,” Callahan said.
The roles of the Student Medicine assistants vary as their experience progresses Callahan said. They begin by doing simple things and tasks that are necessary around the training room. Eventually, they progress to new things.
Callahan says that ideally students who get on the staff will be hired early on, either their freshman or sophomore year, then they can continue to progress as the years go on.
McDonald just joined at the beginning of last year’s fall term.
Yet, she has learned more and is a valuable asset to the training room, saying that they are their own, little family.
The most exciting part of her experience has been being with the athletes and being able to be with a sport.
“Just being around the sport and seeing the whole process of players returning after an injury and being successful,” McDonald said.
Fangman has been there since the beginning of his freshman year and has seen his role increase over time.
“When you learn to tape an ankle you start taping ankles, when you start to learn some of the more advanced tape jobs you do those, and then you start to help out more with treatments as you learn more about the machines,” Fangman said. He has also been the one training the new assistants, who join the Sports Medicine staff.
While the experience is valuable and the time spent is fun, it is also very time consuming.
“It’s a lot about keeping a good schedule and figuring out when I’m going to balance homework and other things,” McDonald said.
Both McDonald and Fangman are always getting right up to the maximum 20 hours that are allowed for on-campus student workers.
While the job takes some sacrificing and planning, Fangman said he feels he does better, since he has a packed schedule.
“I’m forced to be productive, because I have limited time,” Fangman said.
Many of the students that come through the training room are pre-physical therapy or pre-med students, which help with patient care skills. It also helps with the necessities that are done before practices and games.
“The students that we have work for us for three or four years usually can find themselves effective in just about anything,” Callahan said.
While Fangman and McDonald complete their last year at Wartburg College, they agreed that being apart of this particular job is special.
“Everyday is a new experience with different things that happen. I’m more prepared about what is expected of me,” McDonald said. “I think it’s the best student-employment job on campus.”